the marine girls were a post-punk group from hatfield, hertfordshire. the group was formed in 1980, by two sixth form school friends: tracey thorn and gina hartman. originally, thorn just played guitar and hartman was the lead vocalist and percussionist. thorn overcame her shyness and started singing too by the time they started making records. they were later joined by jane fox on bass and her younger sister, alice, on joint vocals and percussion.

contemporaries of acts such as young marble giants and the raincoats, the group applied the diy ethic of the time to record a self-produced and self-released cassette called a day by the sea. this features otherwise-unavailable songs such as 'getting away from it all', 'lorna', 'hour of need' and 'harbours'.
they went on to record an album beach party which was recorded in a garden shed by pat bermingham and released on in-phaze then re-released by dan treacy of television personalities for his label whaam! october 1981, thorn moved to hull to attend university, and hartman left the band in 1981 to pursue other musical projects whilst the fox sisters both went on to art school in brighton. the group still performed together and released a second album, lazy ways, in april 1983.from 1982, thorn concentrated on her studies and her growing personal and professional relationship with fellow hull student ben watt (who had contributed a photograph for the cover of lazy ways album). as everything but the girl, their first single included a re-recording of the marine girls song, "on my mind".